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(MENAFN - AFP) Growth in the eurozone strengthened far beyond expectations in the first quarter of 2016, but inflation remained very low and a source of concern.

The Eurostat statistics agency said growth in the 19-nation single currency bloc accelerated in January to March to 0.6 percent.

This expansion was double the 0.3 percent posted in the two previous quarters ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Britain's state-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland on Friday said net losses more than doubled in the first quarter owing to an exceptional payment back to the government.

Losses after tax in the first three months of the year stood at £968 million ($1.4 billion, 1.2 billion euros), which compared with a net loss of £459 million in the first quarter of 2015, ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) A planeload of 33 lions rescued from abuse in Peruvian and Colombian circuses will fly to South Africa Friday in what campaigners call the largest ever airlift of big cats.

The lions, with names such as Zeus and Shakira, were freed after the use of wild animals in circuses was outlawed in Peru in 2011 and Colombia in 2013.

They have been rounded up with ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Friday is dog day at Hungary's Debrecen jail as Sergey, Cutie, Scottie, Tiny and Fatty, all abandoned canines from a nearby rescue home, happily lollop in for obedience training... with the inmates.

Launched in 2014, the innovative project is of mutual benefit, helping prisoners and pooches alike gain valuable social skills to help their reintroduction into ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) German sportswear and equipment maker Puma said Friday business increased in the first quarter and that it is expecting a boost from major sporting events such as Euro 2016 and the Brazil Olympics.

Like its arch-rival Adidas, which earlier this week lifted its forecasts on the back of a strong first quarter, Puma said it got off to a good start to the year, ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Former Indian airline boss Vijay Mallya said he is prepared to settle millions of dollars owed to banks after the collapse of his firm, in an interview published Friday in the Financial Times.

"But we wish to settle at a reasonable number that we can afford and banks can justify on the basis of settlements done before," he told the business daily, which gave ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) PetroChina shares plunged on Friday, after the Chinese energy giant posted its first quarterly loss since listing overseas 16 years ago, as it struggled with the weak domestic economy and lower international oil prices.

PetroChina lost 13.79 billion yuan ($2.14 billion) in the first quarter, reversing from a gain of 6.15 billion yuan for the same period a year ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The powerful German union IG Metall organised a series of warning strikes overnight, hitting the automobile sector in particular, to turn up heat in wage negotiations for around 3.4 million metal sector workers across the country.

A truce period during which unions are not allowed to stage any industrial action ended at midnight and IG Metall immediately organised ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) German chemicals giant BASF said Friday that its first-quarter business took a hit from low oil prices, but bottom-line profit increased nevertheless thanks to lower taxes.

BASF said in a statement that net profit rose by 18 percent to 1.4 billion euros ($1.6 billion) in the period from January to March.

But that was largely due to a much lower tax rate ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Britain's state-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland on Friday said net losses more than doubled in the first quarter owing to an exceptional payment back to the government.

Losses after tax in the first three months of the year stood at £968 million ($1.4 billion, 1.2 billion euros), which compared with a net loss of £459 million in the first quarter of 2015, ...

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